First let me start by saying what an amazing family you and Ben have. They have welcomed me with open arms and treated me like family from day one. I love getting to spend time with them because I enjoy hearing stories about you since I never had the opportunity to meet you in person. I’ll never forget how this job came together for me. I had been searching for over a year for a Nanny job because kids are truly my passion. By that point I had been a blog follower for sometime, but didn’t “know” any of your family. So it was a surprise when I reached out to Melanie and she mentioned Ben needing a nanny. I think I read her fb message 20 times before I could actually process what it said. Ben needed a nanny? I couldn’t believe that the family I’d been reading and supporting from afar could possibly need ME for a nanny. Long story short, Ben and I connected and sorted through all the details and I still remember his phone call telling me “I’d love to hire you and have you as our Nanny!” I was elated and overcome with gratitude for God providing such an amazing opportunity for me. It is TRULY a blessing that I got connected to your family. So funny how God works. Thank you for looking out for us all and helping to guide Ben in his decision.
Your daughter is absolutely beautiful (Not that it’s a surprise because YOU are so gorgeous) but a lot of your family says she looks more like Ben. She definitely has your eyes. Every time I look at her I feel like it’s you staring back at me. I love that though. I hope it comforts your family and Ben and they always know you’re close by when she looks at them. I know how important it is that Olivia spend time with her family and cousins. We see Nori and Nico often and she is crazy about those twin babies. She’s always wanting a baby in her lap but hasn’t quite grasped how to hold them just yet. Oh- and thank you for keeping those twin babies safe. When Olivia heard of them going into the NICU because they were sick she told me several times that she knew you would keep them safe.
I hope you are happy with the way I am caring for her. So many times I wonder what you would do in a certain situation. How would you dress her? Do her hair? I still remember the first time I helped Ben pack her bag for Disney. I was so nervous. I think I got every outfit she had in her closet and laid it on the bed. I matched bows and shoes and still panicked that it wasn’t good enough. Dressing your little girl is a lot of pressure. I remember reading about how much you loved dressing up on a daily basis and how you wanted to be able to do that with Olivia, so I had to get it right! We are working on a chore chart right now. She’s getting really good at it but sometimes she will look at me and say “I don’t feel like doing chores today, Soooo I’m not going to” I’m always wondering who’s personality is coming out… You? Ben? Where does she get her silly humor? We take at least a weekly trip to target (it feels like daily) and she talks me into buying her something every time. I’ve been learning to say no to her because I know she can’t have everything, but it’s so hard. I know if you were here these are things you would be doing with her and I want her to still have that. It’s frustrating for me when I take her to the Disney store. When we are there I think of how much you would love to take her in that store, it’s such a mother/daughter store. I hope it makes you happy that we listen to KLOVE in the car every time we go somewhere. I love looking in the rearview mirror and watch her sing along to songs about God’s love for us.
One of the things that has been the most challenging for me is the guilt I feel on a daily basis. I think of all the things I’m doing with her that YOU should be. Like potty training, working on manners, working on letters, numbers, shapes, reading books at the library, fixing her hair, and getting her all ready for her first dance class. Last year we joined Mel’s homeschool group once a week and it was such good exposure to get Olivia ready for preschool, but something you would’ve loved to be part of. The moment that got to me the most was her first little field trip at preschool. All the moms were there snapping pictures of their kids walking through the fire station. Of course I tried to make it as “normal” (whatever that means) as possible for Olivia, but my heart was literally breaking for her. Guilt is definitely a daily battle for me. I manage and push through it though, because this job is such a blessing to me and I know God and you brought all of this together. I absolutely LOVE my job and I don’t want to waste this beautiful time that has been given to me by constantly feeling bad. (I even feel guilty writing that sentence, see? Gah)
I hope you’re proud and honored that we talk about you so often. Did you feel loved when we came to visit your place of rest with our 3 pink balloons? I decked her out in as much pink as I could find since that was your favorite color. Thanks for all those silly pics of you dressings up, Olivia sees them and thinks their hilarious. Pictures are all around the house. Olivia loves looking at them and sometimes even makes up stories about something “you and daddy” did. Even though we never met, I feel like I knew you because of your family and Mel’s blog. I can promise you that not one day goes by when you are not talked about. I have all kinds of pictures and videos from your family that Olivia looks at daily. I love her so much and I promise for as long as I get to spend my days with her, we will always talk about you. The past several months have been a wave of emotions for her. As she gets older I see it becoming more of a struggle for her that you are not here. She hits me with questions that take my breath away especially when she remembers a memory of you that makes her cry because “you are in heaven” now. But, we are thankful for every feather you send from above to let her know she is wrapped in your love. You already know this, but we pray every single day at nap time for you to visit her in her dreams. She has told me a few times that she plays with you. I hope so dearly that you do. I hope she is filled with peace and love when she closes her eyes and you are there playing with her. She loves you so much Ali.
I look forward to many more days of silly dancing with your sweet girl and I hope that your spirit is dancing with us.